A few days ago I saw a story on Hot Hardware about how Netflix is going to start offering “Streaming Only” Plans for subscribers who don’t want to receive DVD’s in the mail and just want to watch content on their computer, Xbox 360, Blu-ray player with streaming etc. Although I completely agree that the future for Netflix is definitely going to be in the streaming video business, I don’t think we are there quite yet.
I currently watch a lot of movies using the Netflix streaming service, but there are still many movies that aren’t available to watch with the streaming option yet. The reason behind this is fairly simple, a lot of negotiations that have to happen behind the scenes between Netflix and the studios before they can offer movies on their streaming service, and this takes time. The studios appear favor the iTunes model for renting / selling movies and TV shows individually over a flat flee per month Netflix model.
I don’t see the streaming plan becoming viable until Netflix can offer most, if not all of their content available for streaming online. If they could do this however, they would really give iTunes and other rental services like Amazon Video On Demand problems. Eventually I think this will end up forcing iTunes to offer some sort of flat fee monthly rental service as well.
Eventually Netflix will move out of the DVD and physical media rental business and focus on their streaming service, but we are still a few years away from anything drastic taking place.
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